tv White House Chronicles WHUT September 20, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
that. i have known him for years. i have had big public disputes with nader. but i liked it when he was a consumer advocate, before he became interested in politics and the big picture. i mention this because i am constantly frustrated by warranty's where you filled in something and you get it in credit. for the latest horror, i was getting credit for myself on, my incomprehensible fans -- my incomprehensible cell phone. that almost led left off the telephone. the role to use the $50 and a huge page that i should have brought with me, fine print of the legality of this $50.
couldn't they have just reduce the price by $50? where is ralph nader when he used a stand-up and complain about this thing before he tried to be president and other follies? there you are. why did they do it to us? why do we put up with it, worse? because we have very little choice had no ralph nader. we will be right back. some of the best minds and political analysis in washington, and it will be with us in seconds. >> "white house chronicle" is produced in collaboration with whut, howard university television. now the program host a nationally syndicated columnist llewellyn king, and co-host linda gasparello. >> hello again and thank you so much for coming along. i promised you a great panel,
and i have a great panel for you. claude salhani of the "middle east times, who has a new book out, "while the arab world slept: the impact of the bush years on the middle east." that should take us through the whole program. i am joined by my old friend george lobsenz, editor "the energy daily," which i was happy to be associated with. gil klein, nice to have you on the broadcast. we are joined again by michelle jamrisko of the "kyodo news, the japanese news agency likely associated press in britain.
and she does write in english. well, she is very clever, so maybe she writes in japanese as well. i do not know. i have always been fascinated by japanese translators doing the translation. it is very difficult, but there you are. claude salhani, what are we going to do in the middle east? your book, does it tell us? >> yes, it touches on what -- >> should we wait until it is published and the whole thing will be resolved? >> no, i think there is room for -- >> continuing to live off this and this story. >> the book talks about the bush years, the impact it has had on the middle east, and where president obama is trying to go with his plan. >> and how is he succeeding? he is not getting on as well, especially with the israelis and
prime minister benjamin netanyahu. >> he [s not. the prime minister of israel announced a couple of weeks ago, i think last week, that they are going to go ahead with the settlement, building of settlements, which has been almost like a slap in the face to president obama, who was trying very hard to get them to stop the building of settlements in return for the palestinians going back to the negotiating table. the palestinians said they are not going to go back to negotiate unless the settlements are stopped. so the vacuous catch-22 that has been going on for 61 years. >> i always said that things change when fatigue sets in. it is my personal belief the soviet union collapsed under the fatigue of the system as much as it did by ronald reagan's opposition.
apartheid in south africa largely collapsed because of people being fed up with the monster. likewise, people are fed up with the horrible situation, but we do not see that in the middle east, do we? >> the problem in the middle east is that you have all th ese authoritative regime is in place using the arab-israeli conflict as an excuse to remain in place. they have martial law, states of emergency, you have countries like libya that has had the same leader for 14 years. -- for 40 years. in egypt, mubarak has been in power for 21 years, i think. >> that is job security. çógil traditionally there has been support for israel in congress. do you detect any change in
that? >> there has been añr subtle sht going on here,ñi especially aftr the last incursion into gaza. there seems to be more talk about, well, these palestinian people, the people that somehow they are really getting trounced. there is nothing being done for them. they do have a few legitimate -- they have many legitimate grievances here. >> the situation in gaza is unspeakable awful. >> yes, so at some point somebody has got to say we have to get past hamas, and therein lies the problem. you cannot negotiate with a regime that wants to destroy israel. but somehow you have to get -- the palestinian people are getting the word more and more -- >> i think there is great difficulty in visualizing the middle east and understanding how small the area is. even the west bank is fairly
small, fairly average. there is no water. there are the ancientñr towns, e olive groves, the arabs, and the settlements. the average and the settlements ñiare in conflict because it is the taking of land. i found the difficulty as more religion crept into the region, when people start saying that this is our land because it was given to us by god to a thousand years ago, and this isñi not the west bank, -- byñi god 2000 yeas ago, and this is not the west bank -- this is not >> it has become a dispute over religion. that conflict becomes all the more dangerous. if i could say something to gil , i disagree with him that you cannot negotiate with people who
claim the plo thought so 30 years ago, and they have changed positions. the plo have become good guys, and the same applies to hamas today.3 unofficially they have another line. when you talk to them unofficially, they admit unofficially that israel is there to remain a, it is not going to go away, and most of the talk they use about not negotiating with israel per 100 years is rhetoric. >> george? >> the middle east has another -- there is only one reason why the west texas seriously and ñiasia take this seriously, -- why the west takes it seriously, and the age it takes it ñiseriously, and that is oil. >> doing something to relieve the pressure on oil,çó because f
declining production inu alaski in theñrçó full -- and in the 4, when i first started local the energy daily," we reported one fourthó of our oil, now we rept 2/3. >> i think you have to credit the obama administration that they have pushed electric cars, pushed biofuels, and, you know, they are really beginning to make some progress and the industry is getting interested. the carmakers. so i think you are seeing a point, there is this law on the book that says you have to expand the use of biofuels by quite a bit. the interesting thing that perhaps people do not realize is that it only takes a marginal amount of production to release
ease up the fuel market and start to lead to a much lower oil price. çóyou start to get a little bitf competition if you get to the point of even by a fuel taking 5% to 10% of the market. thktbcan make a large difference in the world market price, and all of a sudden it is a different ball game where you start to see anxiety from the middle east producers where they do not have quite a lot on the market like they used to. >> isn't that taken up by the demand in china? ñi>> well, you are seeing that, but there are other factors in place, too. there are huge resources come on line or about to come on line in brazil and other places like that, so the market is beginning to change. we are seeing the oil sands become quite a big producer. >> the canadian oil sands? >> the canadian oil sands, yes, and you have seen a lot of big
companies coming in there pledging a lot of money for development. you are seeing the market changed a little bit, and the other part of this of course is that finally after literally decades, congress passed a fuel efficiency law for cars, which is going to require car makers to make more efficient cars, and you are seeing more interestñi n consumers' buying because of the last round of super high gas prices. i think you are seeing a lot of factors come together where there is some hope thereçó, and this is not just going to go on indefinitely. >> michele, finally michelle. thank you for waiting. what is the reaction that you sense from your colleagues and your readersñi and your organizations with japan and the change in the governments in japan? >> with the relation to energy or in general? >> in general and in energy. >> it is historic because there
was a changing party from 55 years of near dominant role by the lbp . añr that has not figured out how they are going to be yet. they do not know whether they will use the traditional mechanisms that they're opposing party used to deal with the business elite and the bureaucracies. that is one basic structure that they need to figureñi out. there are all sorts of decisions they need to make in the short term that the u.s. is definitely keeping an eye on, but i think one of the things in relation to energy as we are discussing this, one of the things that has comeback in greece -- that has come about in recent days -- everything might be a surprise -- the prime minister is deepening the cuts he wants to make for climate change. compared to what president obama wants to do, taking a back to
1990 levels, the president has pledged to go 25% below the 1990 levels. that is i think a huge statement, something that maybe will catch the u.s. off guard and come under criticism from other countries, including brazil, for some let me keep ambitious goals for climate change. >> so for the benefit of our listeners on radio, i would like to identify the panel. we can be heard on xm-sirius radio channel 110 and 130. i am llewellyn king. claude salhani of "middle east times
biggest figured that obama employed in the u.s., but he is not what his predecessor was. >> is obama a popular figure in japan? >> he is, very much so. in fact, the survey that i point to is june 2008 when a survey about two dozen countries on interest in the u.s. election. the u.s. was included in the survey, but they came in second grade who came in first, but japan. japan is very interested in obama for a number of reasons. >=r obama has this problem that heñr can be president of almost any of this even while the support at home is sliding prin. tony blair when he came over in from iraq -- he was very unpopular picke. gil, in washington, there is a constant line of people to give
some money. >> that is true. >> the latest is people in manufacturing, and they have a case because manufacturing is in deplorable shape. tell us about that. what did the manufacturers think they need to keep manufacturing going in the u.s.? >> the problem is that they believe when coming out of this recession, that american manufacturers, which now have the most efficient manufacturing processes in the world, but they are worried about being challenged by the next generation of technology that is going to make manufacturing even more efficient, and they see that the europeans are investing to promote the next generation of technology, and there is a fear that the united states will get caught between the low-wage workers and the
high-tech companies, and that it could actually kill of( what is left of the american manufacturing. >> if we put money into improving manufacturing, back in the 1980's, and 1995, which george and i wrote about, the famousñi national laboratories that did a huge amount of discovery. the problem is that they they could not get enough companies to use them. they developed ceramic pots for inside engines that were really superb. but when they went to the automobile manufacturers in detroit, they said had the japanese adopted them yet? if you can get the japanese to do it, we will do it right away. it is always a powerful force.
>> first of all, they are looking for federal money for demonstration projects to show how this stuff works. you are right, there is a problem with, except what has already been developed, and i think that is the thrust of what this consortium was talking about yesterday, the manufacturing experts. that they want to have that kind of federal money to be the same george lobsen as with the europs putting in. here you have the middle east, some countries with enormous wealth, and some very poor because they have no oil. oil and gas, like the saudis, the emirates, but nonetheless
-- do they invest in their future at all? is there any extensive investment in their future, or are they just living on the luck of the draw? >> they are investing. if you look at the emirates, for example, they are investing a lot in technology. they are investing a lot in education. you now have several very prime universities who have branches -- in dubai, caqatar, and so forth. american university has opened a branch in kuwait, and i think in bahrain, if i am not mistaken. there are quite a few of these universities setting up shop in the gulf. dubai does not have much oil, salt is living off commerce and it is investing, and it has been for a number of years, investing
in what happens when oil runs out. of course businesses have suffered as a result because of the economic crisis, so when you look, you drive through dubai, there are dozens of unfinished skyscrapers that stopped halfway. >> it became a kind of disneyland, didn't it? it was not solid investment in the future. >> there is a difference. >> it is the only country in the world that has a hotel with seven stars, you know? >> does the boilebut wler come o bed with you? >> for a price, yes. >>çó we are not used to in amera servantsçó following us around d hotels. i have three examples of being -- once was at the ritz in
paris. you sense that you never on your own. there is someone always waiting to help you, especially when you do not want to be helped, and it is quite huge. >> i once this it -- i once described the service in the emirate's that you think you want service there. that has progressed. sometimes they overdo it. >> are these indigenous people of the emirates, or -- they are not, are they? >> the indigenous people of the emirates -- you do not really see them very much. they are in high places, but the people who do these -- the manual labor are pakistan iis, lebanese, jordanians. >> just like the cruise lines. as to the loose discussion here, anybody want to venture -- what do they think is a great hotel
that they have stated or would like to stay in? bill kline. >> -- gill klein. >> i am a big fan of charleston, and you can't eat like royalty in many places. -- you can eat like royalty in many places. >> i will have to -- >> in southern california, there is a great place in her most of each call beach house, a very plush and it is right there on the beach. >> i have heard about this. i have never written about the middle east, i have never been able to afford it. >> they send a rolls royce to pick you up at the airport. >> i was once giving a speech in singapore, and the monsoon was
about to break. it was about to break, and there was a rolls royce, with a young chinese woman saying, " dr. king, dr. king, and i get into the rolls-royce and i am told that tomorrow you are going to have a tour with the docks and i said i'm going to have a speech about energy. and she said, ronwrong, wrong, . king. she pushed me out of the taxi, and at that moment the monsoon broke. sometimes there is nothing better than an airport criminal. he said i am in a taxi. he said, no, you're not in a taxi. he said i will take you to hotel. he said tomorrow we're going to -- i said, no, we are not.
there is this wrestling in one way or another. then he turned around, took his hands off the wheel, and he said no drugs. then i stopped drugs. he came around every day to try to offer me some new decadence that i did not avail myself of. we have that point in the program where we are going to have our high notes at low notes. claude salhani. >> mine is a little bit long, but i will try to shorten it. >> when will the book be on amazon? >> the force -- the first week of october. >> good luck with it. >> thank you very much. very quickly, i was in a nuclear
energy conference in dubai a few years ago. >> did you get there, george? >> i am afraid not. >> i did not stay in a seven- star hotel. it was very serious and went on for three days. i tried to tell a joke. i said this guy walks into a bar and he sees a guy at the end of the bar and says -- and he looked at him and says what is your iq. he says 180. he says, are you a nuclear physicist? he says yes. finally the guy walks in and he sees one guy at the end left alone. he says what is your iq? he says 87. he says, what story are you working on? [laughter] >> michelle? >> even though the u.s. open is over, it was exciting to be a young woman on the u.s. tennis front. at least some washington young people were diverted from the
issue of health care. it was a distraction. >> gil? >> we have very complicated ñilegislation coming out, and i was down in south carolina and a hefty debt loads senators, of course, like everybody could one is lindsey gra -- one is lindseyçó graham, the other is m ñrdemint, held as mr. know. it worries me that if we're going to get anything done, we have to have the great legislators, and we lost ted kennedy. >> we are living in an age of tribalism. george? >> i have a serious high point, but president obama announced the other day he was going to actually let the people in america know they can visit the white house. in the last administration, we